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sept20, week2.odt

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Bruce Gillespie

Journalism September 20 , 2012 Week 2, Thursday Open Courts Shield Laws: hiding Identities of Journalists etc The press and the state The SCC has adopted a wide definition of the charter guarantee of freedom of expression with respect to the role media play in our democracy. Media face little direct state intervention except for access to courts. Media play a valuable role in ensuring justice through public scrutiny. Because of the charter, the default is for courts to sit in the open. Only in certain circumstances, which often have to be argued or, can they sit in camera. The press and the courts The governing principles of access by the public to the courtroom are based upon the components of the judicial system performing in the courtroom keeps the process intellectually honest, and at the same time contributes to the need for efficiency of the judicial process. Most importantly of, however open access to a public trial ensures that the outcome of that trial will be just. -Justice Willard Estey, SCC. Limits on openness the medias tight to report on courts and citizens rights to attend court are not absolute and are often balanced against other rights. Proper administration of justice To ensure the justice can perform its job properly. Child witnesses in abuse cases may be frightened to testify in open court. Corporations may be reluctant to disclose financial or proprietary information in open court. Judges have powers under the criminal code to prevent media from identifying victims of sexual offences, extortion, and loansharking, as well as witnesses under the age of 18 involves in such cases. Bans can also prevent disclosure of medical files and sexual histories. Right to a fair trial If jurors or potential jurors are subjected to media reports offering a steady stream of gossip and slurs against the defendant, they would cease to be impartial. Limit openness: Right to fair trial Proper administration of justice protecting information or witnesses Dagenais v. CBC 1994. Newfoundland Boys orphanage named Mount Cashel. Operated for many years by Christian Brothers. National Filmboard wanted a docu-drama called the Boys of St. Vincent.Amajor tv movie. Not a newsreport. Based on events they had heard happening at Mount Cashel. No identities would've been revealed. CBC television got the permission to
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